The New Jersey Legislature signed off Thursday on changes to Rutgers University governance that would reduce the size of the school's secondary, largely advisory governing body.
With a unanimous vote in both houses of the Legislature, the measure passed and will go to Gov. Christie.
Rutgers' governing bodies last week voted to reduce the membership of the board of trustees to 41 from 59. That board is largely honorary; most of the slots will be closed by attrition over a period of about three years.
The board of governors, which holds responsibility for most major decisions, is not substantively changed by the move, but board of governors members will no longer be able to hold dual positions as trustees.
The changes were introduced by the Rutgers boards after a task force on university governance recommended a series of changes. The main recommendation, to reduce the number of trustees, became the focus of a campaign by State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) to alter university governance.
Sweeney had been engaged in a high-profile battle with Rutgers activists and members of both governing boards over attempts to force change at the university by passing legislation.
Sweeney later pushed for the report to be released to the public. Its recommendations did not include the changes Sweeney had sought, but he said he would drop his proposals if Rutgers adopted some of the report's recommendations.
His office then worked with board members to draft the changes, Rutgers' head lobbyist said. After the Rutgers boards approved the resolutions, Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D., Hudson) sponsored the bills in the Legislature and pushed them through quickly.